Vital Pulp Therapy

A safe, proven and comfortable endodontic procedure to restore and save a child’s tooth.


Located inside each tooth, pulp is the soft tissue where nerves and blood vessels pass through. Pulp is essential to the health of the tooth in that it supplies nutrients and helps protect the tooth. In the event of cracked teeth or traumatic injuries, exposure may cause the pulp to become sensitive and cause severe pain, inflammation, and sensitivity. Both baby teeth and permanent teeth can be affected.

Vital pulp therapy is a type of procedure performed in pediatric endodontics to help treat, restore, and save the affected tooth of a child and keep it vital so that the immature tooth and roots will continue to grow and develop.

What’s involved in vital pulp therapy?

After your family or pediatric dentist performs a visual exam and evaluates X-rays of the affected area to determine if there is pulp damage, you will likely be referred to an endodontist who is experienced in pediatric endodontics. After further evaluation by the endodontist, he or she will determine if vital pulp therapy is the best option for your child.

The endodontist will also determine which type of therapy will be the most effective, depending on the location and amount of pulp damage. There are two common types of vital pulp therapy:

  • Indirect pulp cap and direct pulp cap: Sometimes the decay on a child’s tooth is close to or just touching the pulp. In this case, after removing the tooth decay, a therapeutic and biocompatible material that prevents infection and heals the pulp is placed over the affected area and then the tooth is restored with a normal filling material.
  • Pulpotomy: The most common treatment, a pulpotomy involves removing the affected pulp and surrounding tooth decay, but leaving the healthy part alone. The resulting gap is filled with a therapeutic and biocompatible material that prevents infection and soothes the pulp tissue. A permanent restoration is normally placed on the tooth after treatment in order to strengthen the tooth structure and minimize the risk of future fracture.

What if my child has dental phobia or special needs?

If your child has anxiety about going to the dentist, or has special needs, our skilled team at Upper East Side Endodontists in NYC — including our board-certified anesthesiologist — has years of experience managing pediatric patients.  Sedation dentistry is a proven, effective, and safe procedure we offer to help ensure your child receives the endodontic treatment he or she needs to provide excellent oral health for years to come.

Contact Upper East Side Endodontists in NYC

There are few endodontic practices that focus on children. At Upper East Side Endodontists in NYC, our team is specially trained to provide exceptional pediatric endodontic care tailored to meet the needs of children. Our years of experience give us unique insight into the physical and emotional needs of our pediatric patients.

For the best-of-the-best in endodontic care for all ages, contact Upper East Side Endodontists in NYC, where the root of our practice is unsurpassed care, compassion and comfort!